RAMM has long been at the heart of Exeter’s cultural life, and this continues in the 21st century. The award-winning development has enlarged the display areas by 25%, enabling 40% more of the collections to be shown. RAMM has new galleries for temporary exhibitions, which allow the finest objects and art to come to the south west.
Since reopening in December 2011, artworks by Canaletto, Holbein, Monet, Pissarro and Renoir have been shown for the first time in Exeter. During 2012-15 objects from the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Collection and Victoria & Albert Museum travelled to the city. In 2014 RAMM became an Associate in the national ARTIST ROOMS partnership and presented the first Gilbert & George ARTIST ROOMS exhibition.
We continue to develop new partnerships, cultural events and innovative contemporary art.
Contemporary arts programme
RAMM has been developing its contemporary arts programme during recent years as part of an Arts Council Major Partner Museum leadership role shared with Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery. RAMM’s programme includes artist interventions, exhibitions and special commissions.
The strength of RAMM lies in its stories – the collections, people, places and events that are recorded in the museum. ‘Artistic Direction’ (PDF) illustrates how the museum has encouraged artists and partners to use RAMM’s vision of ‘Home of a Million Thoughts’ as their springboard for creativity; and how artists have encouraged new ways of looking at cultural heritage.
Highlights during 2012-16 include the ‘Artist Reflections’ series of interventions, the Gilbert & George exhibition, Michelle Sank’s Rugby World Cup inspired project and Chris Watson’s soundscape Ebb and Flow. RAMM is currently working with Susan Collins on a major commission as part of the Whatever the Weather exhibition. This is being created thanks to support from Arts Council England and the Art Fund, and the cooperation of the National Trust.
The earlier Contemporary arts & creative programming Mid-term Review 2013 provides detail about earlier projects.
Contemporary art micro-volunteering programme
Developed by RAMM’s volunteer co-ordinator and front-of-house volunteers, this was a pilot scheme for 12 participants to be involved in three of the temporary exhibitions during summer 2013. These included contemporary art exhibitions ‘Gillian Ayres: Paintings & Prints 1986-2011’ and ‘Wasted by Gina Czarnecki’, and the art historical ‘Masters of the Moor: William & FJ Widgery’. This pilot was possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England. The evaluation report ‘What’s art got to do with it?’ has been published.